As architects it is an existential question that we learn to conceive of the city as an all-encompassing ecological system, by shifting our work towards a human-made environment that is fully integrated in natural biological processes.
During this combined theory and project seminar the focus was on the negotiation between nature and the structure of Völklinger Hütte, located at the Southwest End of the German federation. This industrial monster, occupying 75.000 m2 of land was constructed at the times of industrialization. Now abandoned, it shows the ignorance of this era towards sustainability; and yet, ironically, it has become a fascinating display of how easy nature is reclaiming this place. Because of its size and diversified structure, the Völklinger Hütte, supports a multitude of microclimates and micro-habitats where rich plant-biotopes are thriving.
The seminar included a theoretical research focusing on the relationship between plants and architecture, short excursions sidelined by experts from the fields of plant biology, ecology, landscape architecture, and a second session built around a 4-day expedition to the Völklinger Hütte, early May 2023. In this specific place the students studied and documented instances of the relationship between plants and architecture understood as a continuous ecological infrastructure.
Prof. Sandra Bartoli, Prof. Frederik Künzel
Students: Rajaee Abugharbiyeh, David Behrbohm, Johanna Böhnlein, Elena Feigel, Franz-Xaver Fischhold, Luisa Hölzl, Cora Höpfner, Lea Hofmann, Escarlen Alondra Ibadango Feijoo, Ivana Ivanova, Venessa Kyanada, Devran Mama, Lisa Moloney, Lara Niggemann Wolfshöfer, Fabian Schmid, Rebekka Saavedra Lautensach, Veronika Verdura, Nina Zerbs